Hello my amazing family, friends and loved ones...
WOW. What a great week, especially yesterday...This week, we were told about some changes that are happening in our mission. (No, not iPads).. (President Felix had a meeting with all of the zone leaders, assistants and sister training leaders, and then our zone leaders brought back all of the information back to us.) But anyways, we were told that from now on, we will put more of an emphasis on working with members. Last year in 2014, 72% of the baptisms this mission had came from referrals from members/part-member families, etc. and 28% came from people that missionaries found. That 72% came from us when we weren't even really trying extra hard to work with members. We had a meeting as a zone all about the benefits of working better with members. When the members refer somebody over to the missionaries, they have an instant friend, an extra witness and testimony, and other stuff like that.
So, we've been charged to meet with the members and ask for more referrals! This week, Elder Gruwell and I did that, and we've actually received a couple! We've had no luck contacting them yet, but we're still optimistic!
On Thursday, Barb and Dan invited us over to their house for dinner, and some of Barb's loud, rambunctious family was over there. They would always laugh over the smallest of things, and it made Elder Gruwell and I laugh too. Barb and Dan have a friend named Bud that has cancer in his esophagus or trachea and has been in a lot of pain. The doctors found it about a month ago and he's still not gone through chemotherapy. But anyways, he lives alone and has been needing a lot of cheering up. We met him initially on Christmas Eve and we've seen him a few more times since then at their house. For the past couple of times, he's been texting Barb and Dan and asking if we'd be over there; he's been so happy when he's seen us, and we're happy when we see him too. I think it's been a great experience with us going over there with Barb and Dan and when they've had their family over. Not much teaching can happen when everybody's loud and stuff, but it's been good to show them that missionaries are real people, not robots that walk down the street. We've really been able to be ourselves around there, and they appreciate that a lot; they've all warmed up to us so much. We've been sending Barb a "Scripture of the Day" for a few days now, and she's loving it. They even invited us over for dinner tomorrow too. It's so great to know them...
BUT, out of everything that has happened this week, the highlight was on Friday and Sunday. Remember Chris? The guy that we tracted into around Thanksgiving time? After a solid dinner at a member's home in mid-December, we weren't able to contact him for about a month. He had no cell phone, and everytime we went by, he wasn't there. We knew he had such great potential, so we always kept going by again--and on Friday it paid off. Chris answered the door and immediately let us in! He told us that he had had shingles (an adult version of the chicken pox) and that's why he hadn't been able to meet with us. Not only had he recognized that this was a way that the adversary was trying to stop him from meeting with us, but also, HE HAD BEEN READING THE BOOK OF MORMON THE ENTIRE TIME! We reviewed with him the Restoration lesson one more time, and also tied in with it a lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Chris absolutely loved it! He gave us his new cell phone number, and we've been sending him the "Scripture of the Day" too. At the end of the lesson, he committed to go to Church! And yesterday, HE CAME! Chris stayed all three hours of church! He told us that he had worked the night before, and had not gotten off of work until 7AM--and church was at 10! He came regardless! Not only that, but Chris is so outgoing that he's already talked to so many members and been able to ask them, as well as us, questions about the Church and our lives.
But WAIT, there's MORE! Chris is absolutely spiritually in-tune. He's teared up so many times in the past that we've had lessons, and he did so at church. He was focused the entire time at church too. When we found out he had just gotten off church at 7 in the morning, I asked him if he was tired, and he said, "Nope, I feel great and really energized here." :D :D :D :D :D AHH! It's so great to be able to teach somebody like Chris, so humble, and ready for the Gospel. He was anxious to meet up with us again as soon as possible, and when we said we hoped he came next week to church, he said, "Of course I will, you know it!"
Overall, an amazing week! This Gospel is true. Jesus is the Christ. Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today, and when we listen to the teachings found in the scriptures and by living prophets, they bring us happiness.
I LOVE YOU ALL! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
P.S. I found this written on the sidewalk. :)